Texas Honor Roll Schools

Early College and Clarke ES win recognition
By: Todd Martin
An elementary school on Fort Hood and the newest high school in Killeen ISD made the honor roll for the state of Texas.
The Educational Results Partnership gave Star Recognition to Clarke Elementary School and Killeen ISD Early College High School among 855 schools and six districts throughout Texas.
“After an extensive analysis of student data for every public school and district in Texas, these schools have been identified as clear leaders in getting students to grade-level and beyond and have been named to the 2018 – 2019 Honor Roll,” according to an email announcement to KISD from ERP President James Lanich.
“We’re proud of the campuses, the staff members and most importantly the students,” said KISD Superintendent John Craft of the high honors.
“We value academic accomplishment and this is a statewide accolade. We’re proud of their efforts,” Craft said.
Higher-performing honor roll schools “demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and a reduction in achievement gaps among student populations,” according to the announcement.
“It was so exciting and such an honor to be on this list,” said Clarke Principal Laura Dart. “My staff works very hard and does an amazing job at looking at their children and trying to find out what they need in order to continue to grow.”
Student data analysis from the 2017-18 school year revealed common success factors, including college and career readiness, as well as the following:
  • Evidence-based instructional practices
  • A defined system-wide mission of college and career readiness for all students
  • An investment in human capital
  • Maintenance of data and assessment systems to monitor school and student performance
  • Resources and guidance to support schools' efforts in preparing all students for college and career
“We spend a great deal of time planning together and studying our standards,” Dart said. “At Clarke, we are a firm believer that despite all things, every single child can learn at higher levels.”

“We are beyond proud to receive this accolade,” said Early College Principal Kathleen Burke. “It is with a lot of hard work, determination and love that our CTC and Lion family of students, teachers, counselors, parents, custodians, cafeteria workers, support staff and bus drivers strive to help all our students succeed.”
For the four-year-old Early College High School, which just celebrated its first graduating class of 166 students, the state honor roll is the latest in a series of honors.
This spring, Educate Texas, a foundation that partners with the Texas Education Agency and numerous government and charitable groups, named the KISD Early College High School a model College and Career Readiness School.
Any measure you use shows the Early College High School has grown and thrived.
It opened in 2015 in a single hallway at Central Texas College with 150 students and 14 staff members and it took four buses to transport the students from throughout the school district.
Today, the full four-year high school occupies portions of two buildings on the CTC campus and a separate re-purposed school building on Fort Hood. In the just-completed school year, 25 buses transported a portion of the 973 students and the staff numbered 93 employees.
The school is a partnership between KISD, Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas and allows students to finish their high school diploma and an associates of art degree simultaneously.
Demographically, the Early College High School matches KISD as a whole. Student retention rate minus out-of-town moves is 86 percent.
Academic performance shows more than 99 percent of seniors meeting state standards to take college courses.
On 2018 STAAR testing, 100 percent passed math and social studies, 99 percent passed science and 95 percent passed reading. On the PSAT test, freshman test 55 points above the state, sophomores 81 points above the state and juniors 49 points above the state.